# The Tales of Nerdy Norm

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 Subject(s): Grades 8 through 12 NETS-S Standard: Creativity and InnovationCommunication and CollaborationTechnology Operations and ConceptsView Full Text of Standards School: R C Edwards Middle School, Central, SC Planned By: Traci Hedetniemi Original Author: Traci Hedetniemi, Central
Objective: TSWBAT understand how a change in "a" or "c" in the standard form of a quadratic equation ax^2 + bx + c changes the graph of the resulting function.

Prerequisite Knowledge/Concepts: Understanding what standard form of a quadratic equation is; Basic understanding of the idea of a transformation to a graph; Understanding that the basic shape of a quadratic function is a parabola; Ability to graph a set of ordered pairs on a graph; Ability to create a table of values from a given function

Procedures:
1) Introduce the project concept. Students will be telling the story of "Nerdy Norm the Normal Parabola." Nerdy Norm is a parabola whose equation is y = x^2 on a typical/usual day. However, Norm's equation changes when his moods and/or location changes. Provide students with examples of Norm's various "moods" and their corresponding equations. For example, "High Nerdy Norm" could be the equation y = x^2 + 7 and "Nerdy Norm Flipped" could be the equation y = -x^2.
2) Have students take the various "moods" you give them and show graphically what happens. For each equation you give them (around 10 total), have students create a table of values (I suggest from x = -5 to x = 5 at a minimum). Then have students plot the ordered pairs to create a graph of the equations on one large coordinate plane. [It will be helpful for students to use different colors and create a key to their graph.]
3) Next, students should use the graph they created to write a story that details how and why Nerdy Norm's graph changed as his mood changed. You can have students write a story in paragraph form first or have students work directly with a storyboard format. Make it clear that the story should match what happens on the graph!
4) Students will use clay to create a model of Nerdy Norm - i.e. students will model the shape of a parabola out of clay.
5) Students will use a video camera to record "stop motion" shots of their parabola in each of the various transformations they graphed. Then, students will use stop motion animation software to create a video from these shots.
6) Students will create voice-over narration recordings of the stories they wrote detailing Nerdy Norm's various moods. Students will use video editing software to add their voice narration to their stop-motion video.
7) Students will present their video projects to the class.
 Comments This lesson is an adaption/extension of the Nerdy Norm activity created through the SC Department of Education Algebra I training workshops. Cross-Curriculum Ideas Social Studies - Have students include historical events as a context for Nerdy Norm's story. Science - Have students write Nerdy Norm's story as he explores the moon or other planets and require details that connect to their properties. ELA - Nerdy Norm's story could be written as he interacts with characters from a story or poem read in English class. Follow-Up This activity can be extended to the exploration of other algebraic functions (exponential, absolute value, square root, etc.) as well as to the transformation of geometric shapes. Stop-motion video is a wonderful tool to illustrate mathematical change! Materials: Mobile Labs, Video Cameras, Digital Voice Recorders, Microphones, Video Tools, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards, Cables, Headsets, Flash/USB Drives, Animation Other Items: 1 Modeling Clay - various colors, \$15 per 5lb each